My childhood house is stripped,
bared, open to the public.
The for-sale sign impales

the front pasture, grass
is cut and prim, no trimmings
left to save.

Women in sable parade
through halls and men in
tailored suits talk about

dimensions. They don’t know
lizards present themselves
on the basement stairs or worms

dapple pears in the orchard.
Doors of rabbit hutches
hang from hinges and rust

scratches on rust in wind, noise
unheard by workers who
remodel the old farmhouse

into an Italian villa painted peach.
Death can empty a house of shoes
worn and new, of children

who climbed the grandfather
trees, impressing outlines like fossils
littering the banks of the creek.

Related Poems

Photo of Home From Home

I used to leave this granite house 
after everyone else was asleep, 
and, walking down the hill, come to the 
woods just behind you snapped 
this photo, old friend, who think I can bear 
to look at it.

The full moon loomed so close 
I'd think I could reach out and gather it 
into folds, until I noticed 
one star fallen out of the side, 
blinking to know where it was, 
dead probably, by then, or now.

One night when I was seven 
I stood in the dining room, staring 
at the decanter on the drinks cart 
shining like fool's gold, its liquor smelling 
of honey and rosin, belly flat 
as mother's breast
as she lay back to sleep beside me.

Later, I caught the moon, 
through the dormer window nearest the spot 
this photo was taken, a crescent 
chunk of old ice.